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Old 21-10-2015, 14:19   #1
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dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

I haven't seen anything posted about this so I thought I would.

A fellow named Adrian Studer has designed an open source AIS receiver and is selling them at a pretty low cost ($55). You can find them here on Tindie (recently back in stock)
https://www.tindie.com/products/astu...-ais-receiver/

Or you could find the sources and board layouts on github and build one yourself.

Here is an article of a boater using one with OpenCPN on linux (Raspberry Pi).
https://mvcesc.wordpress.com/2015/04...pi-2-with-ais/
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:20   #2
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

Based on this post I bought one. It arrived yesterday and seems to work very well. I'm stuck in a hotel at the moment with limited view of the sea but I hung an antenna out the window and within seconds was picking up all the same targets as the local marinetraffic station. So far the furthest vessel I've detected was about 4 km away but it was also the other side of a hill. Overall I'm impressed and it's great value.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:43   #3
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by AedanC View Post
Based on this post I bought one. It arrived yesterday and seems to work very well. I'm stuck in a hotel at the moment with limited view of the sea but I hung an antenna out the window and within seconds was picking up all the same targets as the local marinetraffic station. So far the furthest vessel I've detected was about 4 km away but it was also the other side of a hill. Overall I'm impressed and it's great value.
Thanks for reporting back.. I bought one (the reason I started this post), but haven't had a chance to test it. Not many ships up here in Alberta and I'm not back on the boat for a couple of weeks.

I am very impressed with the build quality. Its well constructed and built with "simple" in mind (very good on a boat).

It will have an honored spot in my "backups" box in the event my Vesper dies. For the price, I couldn't justify not buying it for a backup.
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:06   #4
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

This looks awesome! Can you extend a 'feature request' on behalf me though? ;-)

I find it very useful if AIS units (and other electronics) support wireless out of the box. That's why I earlier bought an iAIS (which I think was overpriced for what it is but it is a separate discussion).

Having done the base AIS work, I believe it would be reasonably easy and cost effective to add a WiFi option to the unit. A full WiFi enabled module can be added for as low as $20-25 (Carambola 2 would as well as many others) and this can be a $70-80 AIS WiFi unit supporting tablets and mobile devices running iNavx and others.

If your friend considers adding such a functionality, I will certainly buy it

Thanks for sharing it, interesting as is regardless.
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:17   #5
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

I would buy 3 if it could connect to my Raymarine C series plotter
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:25   #6
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

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Originally Posted by Hoghead View Post
I would buy 3 if it could connect to my Raymarine C series plotter
What would it take to integrate, an NMEA output port?
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Old 03-11-2015, 21:49   #7
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

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What would it take to integrate, an NMEA output port?
Its completely open source with the source and hardware drawings available on github. If you open it up, you will find a unpopulated serial port that outputs NMEA 0183 data. It would be trivial to hook it up to an NMEA 0183 input port.

Further to the wireless comment, I don't think it would be very hard to hook an ESP8266 (about $5 online) to this device and dump the NMEA 0183 packets over WIFI. I know there is some posting in a forum that this has already been done over bluetooth.

The point of this device is to be open and extensible.

In the forums, the developer hints that the next version will have transponder capabilities!

If you are interested in the history of its development, the whole story is pretty much available at this forum link.
[POTM] dAISy - A Simple AIS Receiver - Page 9 - Projects - 43oh
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Old 03-11-2015, 22:12   #8
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

If only the Developer would enable these trivial functions for those of us that electronically challenged
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Old 03-11-2015, 22:48   #9
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

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If only the Developer would enable these trivial functions for those of us that electronically challenged
Of course, thats not the intent of Open Source. Its to encourage and empower you to learn that stuff. Its not really magical, or even difficult, just requires some work and research.

In fact its not any different than hooking up any NMEA 0183 device. You will just need to solder wires to the proper connection on the DAISY!
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Old 03-11-2015, 23:31   #10
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

After lurking for a while, I thought its time to join this forum to clarify a few things about my AIS receiver design before things get too out of hand

First of all, a HUGE thank you to my loyal customers (and brave early adopters) that wrote about dAISy here. It's the best advertisement anyone can wish for.

To the topics raised in this thread:

The auxiliary serial output is plain 3.3V logic. While not originally intended for NMEA0183, it might actually work. I will have to test that in the near future (any willing guinea pig with a chart plotter in the Seattle area?).

If that works, I could easily add screw terminals as suggested by Tenedos. Even some additional electronics for proper NMEA support shouldn't be too hard nor expensive.

Adding WiFi is a very common request. Cheap WiFi modules are plentiful, but cost at some point would also have to include FCC certification, which is expensive. Maybe connector that accepts a widely available module could work around the rules. Another option is to integrate dAISy as a daughter board into something like vYacht.

I definitely have no plans right now to build an AIS transponder.

On the Open Source side, I'd like to clarify that I currently publish the source for building an AIS receiver using a MSP430 development board, basically the core logic of dAISy. I provide access to the full source of dAISy to my customers on request. I'm not quite ready yet to get out-eBayed by even cheaper copy-cats

Regards,
Adrian
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:54   #11
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

Quote:
Originally Posted by astuder View Post

To the topics raised in this thread:

The auxiliary serial output is plain 3.3V logic. While not originally intended for NMEA0183, it might actually work. I will have to test that in the near future (any willing guinea pig with a chart plotter in the Seattle area?).

If that works, I could easily add screw terminals as suggested by Tenedos. Even some additional electronics for proper NMEA support shouldn't be too hard nor expensive.

Adding WiFi is a very common request. Cheap WiFi modules are plentiful, but cost at some point would also have to include FCC certification, which is expensive. Maybe connector that accepts a widely available module could work around the rules. Another option is to integrate dAISy as a daughter board into something like vYacht.
First.. I must say sorry as I must have misunderstood some of the forum posts I read. It was a few months ago and I getting older so I could have got my wires crossed (transponder, full open source).

As to a chartplotter. I think it should be possible to just use a standard serial port on a computer and OpenCPN. If OpenCPN is happy with the NMEA0183 packets it sees over that serial port, then other plotters should function as well. I'm guessing you already have this code implemented and are currently sending it to the USB port. I'm guessing it may be as easy as just replicating the data out the serial port.

As to WIFI.. I love the potential of the ESP8266 boards, but they have some puzzling shortcomings. The first being, how do you pass them the WIFI connection information and credentials. More specifically, how could a laymen do that without indepth knowledge of electronics. In any case, what if we come up with a solution but leave the connecting up to the end user. Would this get around the FCC certification rule? Cruisers are a tenacious bunch and if we come up with a solution and instructions, I'm sure most would have no problem following them to get that functionality.

P.S. Thanks for your work. You may not realize it, but a project like this will influence the entire industry and improve safety in all the seas.
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Old 04-11-2015, 09:05   #12
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

Hi Adrian,

Quote:
The auxiliary serial output is plain 3.3V logic. While not originally intended for NMEA0183, it might actually work. I will have to test that in the near future (any willing guinea pig with a chart plotter in the Seattle area?).
The good news is that I bought the Daisy with the express intention of trying to hook it up to my Garmin 750s plotter and I've been working as an EE for 30+ years so I have some of the basics. The bad news is that I'm nowhere near Seattle, I'm in Ireland.

If there is any way we can work on this together I'd be very interested.

Aedan
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Old 04-11-2015, 11:32   #13
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

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Originally Posted by astuder View Post
Adding WiFi is a very common request. Cheap WiFi modules are plentiful, but cost at some point would also have to include FCC certification, which is expensive. Maybe connector that accepts a widely available module could work around the rules. Another option is to integrate dAISy as a daughter board into something like vYacht.
Don't mean to meddle with your business but why can't you leverage something that already has an FCC certification? I don't think it is worth to deal with FCC for a single project.

Carambola2 I mentioned earlier has FCC certification (CE, FCC, IC certified) and I am sure some of the others do as well.

BTW, I have no affiliation with Carambola, I just bought and used their modules for some tinkering and loved it. That's why I mention them but I am sure there are many others, possibly at more attractive price points.

Independent of how it is done, adding WiFi will take the product to a different league for me.

Please keep us posted, I think this is a great initiative.
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Old 04-11-2015, 17:27   #14
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

An interesting device and CF thread, thanks to Adrian, the OP, and commenters, lots of good info.

One of the main things on the dAISy dreamsheet seems to be an added wireless (WiFi and/or Bluetooth) capability.
I don't know if it would be feasible or economical, but I've found that there are many inexpensive mini-PCI-e wireless cards available https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI-Ex...ress_Mini_Card .
("PCI Express Mini Card (also known as Mini PCI Express, Mini PCIe, Mini PCI-E, mPCIe, and PEM),").
There are many WiFi, Bluetooth, and WiFi/BT combo Mini PCIe cards for $5-30 (on Newegg for example).

I'm building a small Mini-ITX form factor/mobo machine and the mobo comes with one Mini PCIe slot (and one main full size PCIe x16 slot).
FYI: Newegg had an MSI AM1 mini-ITX mobo special ($20 w/sale+rebate), so I couldn't resist. Plus a number of other necessary goodies (like the AMD AM1 socket Kabini 5350 proc).
Naturally in provisioning the other bits of this machine I looked into using that Mini PCIe slot for 'something'.

I'm not sure if the SoC this dAISy is using is even compatible w/Mini PCIe.
If not, perhaps another USB port or two might be possible, since there are also many inexpensive WiFi/Bluetooth USB dongles and plugins available to provide a wireless capability (I got one a while back for <$5).

Those options would cheaply and easily avoid the discussed FCC cert process and greatly enhance the dAISy's utility (hell, with that and a few other little 'changes'? it might be a hit category-killer).

I can see Adrian's reluctance to add a transponder function, that is a whole 'nuther design and fabbing can 'o worms...but still...
.
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Old 04-11-2015, 22:13   #15
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Re: dAISy Open Source AIS Receiver

@travellerw no worries

@aedanc reporting back on how your experiment with the Garmin goes would be great. Make sure to hook dAISy only to inputs, otherwise you might fry it. Connect dAISy TX to + (or A), GND to - (or B) and in dAISy's debug menu, type 2 (38400 baud serial output). You might have to select NMEA 0183 HS on your Garmin if it doesn't auto detect.

I looked a bit further into NMEA 0183. Actisense has a great document on the topic: http://actisense.com/products/nmea-0...ormation-sheet

A RS422 driver chip (e.g. TI uA9638CDR) plus a screw terminal seems all that's needed. I think that can easily be accommodated on a PCB that screws to the back of dAISy.

@Tenedos and Tx J: Thanks for your thoughts on WiFi. I wonder if at some point it wouldn't be more effective to just create a dAISy add-on board for one of the many single-board Linux computers (i.e. Raspberry Pi et al) running Kplex or similar.

I'm no FCC expert by any means, that's why intentional transmitter is exactly the can of worms I try to avoid for now.

I really appreciate all your input.
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